Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kathryn Quotes

"Hell doesn't want you and heaven is full."

Who said that? It doesn't matter; it's an elegant expression, isn't it?

I used to work with someone named Kathryn. I still know her, and even run into her sometimes while out and about. She's an artist and a collector of quotes that she uses in her work. I'm always fascinated to search for the snippets of text that show up, and I often find myself writing down the quotes I see.

The quotes are often shards of poetry or song lyrics or artist philosophies. I see things from Mingus and Balthus.

Where are you now, Balthus, now that I need you?

let the music and the madness get to you/life ain't so bad at all (m jackson)

Very frequently, they are little notes to herself. I've seen her process, and the little notes wend their way in from the beginning. Even when she is brutally honest with herself, it all goes into the art.

I could have done a lot of things in my better days.

Do what's good for you or you're not good for anybody.

They are sometimes obscure, or vaguely profound, often both at once! I may not really understand them or agree with them, but I feel as though if I thought about it hard enough that I'd find some kernel of truth. And they are irresistible. They are neat little packages of phrase. I search them out like rare truffles at the base of trees. They are plaintive, defiant, joyous, thoughtful, encouraging, cadjoling, flavourful. Like poetry, they resonate just beyond the edge of meaning.

Once I started collecting quotes, I started finding others that fit into the same limbo. "Kathryn quotes" has become a shorthand for a certain kind of pithy, quirky quote.

There's no such thing as nothing, not at all. / It may be really very, very small / But it's still there. In fact I think I'd guess / That "no" does not exist. There's only "yes".

Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.
(This comes from Denzel Washington.)

Recently, I fund this one:
We are, all of us, storytellers. We choose what we hear, and see, and believe. In a void of answers we settle into a tale that best suits what we need. -Sweet&Salty

And what I need, apparently, is little dashes of poetic philosophy and humor to shake up my brain a little. What that says about me, I don't know.

What was it that Pierre Trudeau said? Oh yes: "I've been called worse things by better people." Surely that must make some sense.

life ain't so bad at all, at all

O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you. - Saint Augustine


Flying Saucer JOnes said...

Deja vu?

Joy! said...

FS Jones, I don't quite get the reference. :)